• By LYNDA BALSLEV
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When summer yields more vegetables than you can shake a stick at, it’s time to quick pickle. Quick pickling is one of the easiest ways to preserve a bounty of vegetables and a simple method to keep your veggies on hand for munching. The method differs from canning, in that the veggies simply…

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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With two thriving locations, Galveston’s Own Farmers Market has plenty to celebrate, and the market’s annual Okrafest event provides the opportunity. “When we had our first Okrafest two years ago, it was sort of a tongue-in-cheek theme for a fundraiser, but now we’ve totally embraced the ide…

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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It’s hard to let go of a long-held belief in regional superiority. It was a crushing blow to my elementary school when we had to relearn the words to the state song, “Texas, Our Texas” and replace “largest and grandest’ with “boldest and grandest” as Alaska horned in and stole that billing f…

  • By LYNDA BALSLEV
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When it’s summertime and the living is easy, I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the heat than with a refreshing, thirst-quenching beverage. Fruit syrups are a great addition to drinks, adding sweetness, fruity flavor, and vibrant color, and when there are more berries in the garden than …

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Cold soup seems to be one of those love/hate food items: people either find it to be a refreshing, light meal on a hot day, or they’re appalled that anyone would strip soup of one of its most comforting qualities.

  • By LYNDA BALSLEV
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Blueberries are a summer treat. Inky blue, sweet and juicy, they are a healthy snack you can pop in your mouth, fold into yogurt and bake into desserts. I grew up in New England and lived for many years in Scandinavia, where blueberries grew wild in our garden and forest. We would forage for…

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Cooking classic French dishes may be more than enough challenge for most cooks but not for the members of the Cracked Pots cooking group. They recently upped the challenge and re-created some of France’s finest cuisine in cast iron Dutch ovens on a charcoal fire. Members of the group produce…

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Fresh corn is near its peak, and there’s plenty of it: neatly stacked at the farmers market, piled in a mountain at some stores, and even displayed end-out in tidy rows at one retailer. One of the best things about summer corn, besides its freshness, sweetness, and pennies-per-ear cost, is t…

  • By Lynda Balslev
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It’s grilling season, and everyone should have a no-fail marinade to rely on to carry them through the summer. It should be something simple and versatile, easy to whip up within minutes with just a handful of ingredients, and flexible enough that you can use it on all your favorite grillabl…

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Backyard gardeners, devotees of farmers markets, and lucky friends of those two groups are enjoying a bounty of fresh vegetables. One West End Galvestonian recently shared some tomatoes that were part of a single day’s nine-pound harvest, but noted sadly that there were only a few more weeks…

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Anyone who still thinks wine is a fussy drink that requires a special vocabulary and fancy glasses needs to sit down and have a big glass of sangria. After all, not just one but two country music stars have penned songs praising the fruity, refreshing drink.

  • By LYNDA BALSLEV
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Summer season is about to hit full stride. This means one thing: it’s time for BBQ Ribs. Nothing says more than dad and summer than a platter of crispy, finger-licking, sweet and spicy baby back ribs.

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Hot days call for cold treats. The colder the better, and if they’re bursting with the flavors of fresh fruit, even better.

  • By LYNDA BALSLEV
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Do you have a grill? Do you love pizza? Then look no further for an easy technique that will result in delicious homemade pizza hot off your grill. If you don’t have a grill, fear not — this recipe can also be prepared in a hot oven.

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Many cooks feel inspired by the fresh produce that is so plentiful at this time of year, and a growing number are taking it a step further and eating “inspiralized.” That’s the premise of a series of best-selling cookbooks by Ali Maffucci, who started a trend with “Inspiralized,” a cookbook …

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Galveston cookbook author Lisa Lewis had a clear vision for her new cookbook, “Happy Healthy Cooking.” She focused on easy, family friendly, nutritious meals. “I wanted the recipes to be easy, without crazy ingredients you have to hunt down at Whole Foods or special tools you have to get at …

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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Sometimes the best souvenirs of a great vacation are memories of outstanding meals. A recent trip to the Eastern Shore region of Maryland and Virginia began with a seafood feast of local shrimp and crabs. The bright pink crustaceans were piled in a mound that stretched the length of the tabl…

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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Editor’s note: This is the final Kitchen Scoop column. There is no menu with today’s column.

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and if you are like me, you have a crowd coming to celebrate. I love to feed large gatherings, but breakfast always seems hit or miss. In my family now we have babies who wake their parents at dawn; older adults who sleep in after years of being the ones who …

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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It’s an iconic memory from so many childhoods: carefully rotating a marshmallow over a fire until it gets puffy and brown, then sandwiching it between graham crackers and squares of a Hershey chocolate bar. Making s’mores was a rite of summer, whether it was done at camp, a beach bonfire or …

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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Is it possible to make a homemade appetizer in just 5 minutes? I think so, if you use hard-cooked whole peeled eggs — widely available in grocery store dairy cases across the country. These cooked eggs help you make a summertime favorite, deviled eggs, in a matter of minutes.

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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When the smell of grilled chicken filled the kitchen at ADA Women’s Recovery Center in Galveston on a recent Saturday afternoon, it did more than whet the appetites of the residents. It also set the stage for a frank conversation about cancer, and gave a group of friends a way to honor a you…

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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Mother’s Day isn’t a one-size-fits-all holiday. There are as many ways to celebrate the day as there are mothers, whether it’s with pampering, something adventurous or just hanging out together.

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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With Mother’s Day this weekend, I’ve been remembering all the celebrations of the past. For me, this year I will celebrate my mom, my daughters, and all the wonderful mothers who have touched my life. Isn’t that what Mother’s Day should really be about?

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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Taking the time to gather our loved ones and show them some gratitude can get lost in the shuffle when things get hectic, but more than fifty Ball High School seniors are making it a priority. Even with all the activities scheduled for their last month of high school, they are participating …

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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Sauteed shrimp involves some of the easiest preparation on the planet: pan, butter, shrimp. Go! But as easy as that is, it’s not difficult to add the tiniest flavor twists and be surprised at the amazing outcome.

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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On the Gulf Coast, we’re surrounded by salt. Salt air, salt water and salt grass are all around us, and two League City residents are now putting that salt in the kitchen.

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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Making the old-fashioned coconut macaroons last week got me to thinking about another cookie. Growing up, it was always a treat to take the scraps of my mom’s pie pastry, sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon, and bake them on a piece of foil. Drizzled with honey, they were a special, practi…

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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It seems like people rarely just eat crawfish — they celebrate eating crawfish. More often than not, eating crawfish is a communal meal, undertaken with friends and family. This year, there’s a lot to celebrate, as the Louisiana crawfish industry is reporting a good year for harvesting the m…

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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The days are longer and the weather is warmer, so who wants to be stuck in the kitchen at dinnertime? A one-pot pasta dinner made entirely on the stove is the perfect solution. It’s quick-cooking, and cleanup is a snap.

  • By MARSHA CANRIGHT Correspondent
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Remember when butter was bad for you? And table salt and coffee and red wine and egg yolks? Remember when you shouldn’t eat fish more than once a week — because of the mercury — and when drinking whole milk was almost a sin?

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA
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Long ago, when my daughter was a preschooler, we managed to convince her that the Easter Bunny’s sole role was to hide the hard-boiled eggs we dyed. Unfortunately, “Easter candy” only remained an oxymoron for a few years. Like our fiction that the ice cream truck was really the “music truck,…

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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Need a superfast and wonderfully delicious dinner in 20 minutes? I love chicken sloppy joe sliders for those nights I need dinner right away. With only four ingredients in the skillet, you can start your timer with the ground chicken in the freezer and still have dinner on the table in just …

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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For many families, the menu for Easter dinner is an unchanging tradition, as predictable as eating the ears off a chocolate bunny first before tackling the rest of it. (Remarkably, someone has actually conducted research on this topic, and found that the ears are the first thing to go on abo…

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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Cauliflower is taking the stage as a flexible, healthy and delicious leading vegetable. When potatoes became a no-no in some diets, cauliflower was happy to stand in as a low-carb substitute. In the same way, cauliflower makes a passable gluten-free pizza crust alternative.

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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New York City may not be the first place that comes to mind when people think of soul food, but Southern-style down home cooking has made inroads. On a recent trip to Manhattan, we rode the subway to one of the country’s best known restaurants for Southern cooking, Sylvia’s.

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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How do you stretch one cup of leftover chili to serve four people? This cooking dilemma was facing me when last-minute overnight guests showed up due to a family emergency. Going to a restaurant was out of the question and ordering pizza just seemed so unfriendly. What I wanted to give them …

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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After my recent trip to Cuba, curious potential travelers asked me a wide variety of questions, but one came up repeatedly: “How much rum did you bring back?” My stock answer was “A lifetime supply,” which, given my disinterest in alcohol, translates to two bottles.

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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What makes a recipe “world famous?” If it means that people from both sides of the world “ooh” and “ahh” over it, then today’s recipe for Margie’s classic lasagna is just that.

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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I’ve never seen an Irish potato pie except on my Maw Maw’s dessert table around St. Patrick’s Day. Most recipes named “Irish Potato Pies” are savory pies with vegetables and sometimes meat. But this pie is a cousin to Sweet Potato Pie — sweet with sugar and spice.

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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An empty bowl can be a beautiful thing, but if you’re hungry, it can be a heartbreaking one. The annual Empty Bowl event uses beautiful, handmade bowls as the vehicle for reducing the number of people confronting empty bowls at mealtime. The Empty Bowls fundraiser, scheduled for March 31 at …

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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March is National Sauce Month, and even though it’s celebrated across the country, it’s bound to be a little bigger and better in Texas. After all, we’ve got more than our share of great sauces, from barbecue sauce to salsa.

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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Do you remember cherry-vanilla ice cream? The kind with dark, sour cherries and just a hint of vanilla in the sweet, thick cream? It seems that this old-fashioned combo is nowhere to be found among the ice cream flavors in my little town.

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  • By BERNICE TORREGROSSA Correspondent
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Another Gulf Coast chef has gone global, sharing her cooking secrets with the world. Sylvia Casares, known to viewers of the Food Channel as the enchilada queen, has published a cookbook that can make all of us enchilada royalty.

  • By ALICIA ROSS Correspondent
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In the cold months of winter, I still yearn for a crisp fresh salad. But what is refreshing in the summer months leaves me feeling cold in the winter. So I trick my palate with crisp greens mixed with warm winter flavors, like today’s recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken.